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Clark wrong on sugar tax

Clark wrong on sugar tax
30 OCTOBER 2017

Contrary to Health Minister David Clark’s claim of ‘growing evidence’ around the effectiveness of a sugary drink tax, wherever the tax has been tried it has resulted in far less impact on consumption than expected, points out the Taxpayers’ Union.

“A number of New Zealand public health researchers have continued to peddle misleading data – preferring more favourable interview and survey results, when the actual sales of sugary drinks in Mexico prove volumes have barely moved since that country introduced a tax,” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union.

“A sugar tax would cost the very poorest members of our society. Unless it can be shown that it would actually be effective in terms of better health outcomes, it is immoral to slap on a tax for the sake of sloganism.”

“We took a very hard look at this issue in 2015, and the evidence of a sugar taxes’ effectiveness simply isn’t there. Indeed, we found the ones really pushing for this are the very interests and publicly funded groups who want to get their hand on the substantive funds a sugar tax would raise.”

In 2015, the Taxpayers’ Union report Fizzed out: Why a sugar tax won’t curb obesity, published actual sales data from Mexico showing that it did not match the expressed preferences of consumers relating to sugary drink consumption and the introduction of soda taxes. It also showed why a soda or sugar tax is likely to do the most harm to the very people it is intended to help.

More information, and the report, is available at www.taxpayers.org.nz/tags/fizzed_out.


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